Barriers To Listening Essay

1131 words - 5 pages

Barriers to Listening

Running head: BARRIERS TO LISTENING

Barriers to Listening

Don Carter

Grand Canyon University

Barriers to Listening

Introduction: Good listening is arguably one of the most important skills to have in today's complex world. Corporate employees need it to solve complex problems quickly and stay competitive. Students need it to understand complex issues in their fields. Much can be gained by improving listening skills. (Webb, March 2006)In order for us to become good listeners it is imperative that we identify the barriers that prevent us from being good listeners. It is important once these barriers are identified that we take action steps in order to overcome them. In the following paper I will be identifying 5 physical and 5 process barriers and listing actions which can help overcome them.

Physical barriers:

An object such as a desk or even a podium can be considered to be a physical barrier. If a person is behind a desk or podium it sends a message that he or she is guarded and or unapproachable. It also hinders the listener from reading into many of the nonverbal parts of the conversation. Another obstacle a desk represents is distractive objects such as pictures, monitors, or knick knacks which are commonly found on one's desk. These things take away the listeners attention from time to time.

To overcome this type of barrier is quite simple. Hold the conversation off to the side or away from the desk with chairs directly across from each other. If one is using a podium be sure to step away from time to time so the audience can see all of you and your movements.

Being seated too far from the speaker such as in the back of the room can limit your ability to hear everything clearly.

Being sure to provide a good PA system with speakers in the back cam solve this problem.

Another physical barrier that is quite common is outside or distractive noises and interruptions. Some of these are nearby construction, side bar conversations, traffic, and electronic devices.

By taking some time to schedule meetings around construction or busy traffic times you can help mitigate some of these distractions. Before the meeting begins be sure to ask everyone to turn off any cell phones or beepers.

Sometimes it is the actions of the speaker which causes the barriers. When a speaker lacks eye contact with his audience it does not keep them engaged. A nervous twitch or even "fiddling" of one's fingers can cause the audience to focus on that particular physical movement and not focus on the verbal communication.

Being aware of these characteristics...

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